When your child thinks, “I’m embarrassed.”
Children often feel embarrassed by urinating at night, especially since it makes them feel that they are doing something embarrassing, hidden, or upsetting. For many children, processes like urination and body parts associated with urination are embarrassing. Bedwetting just highlights all the embarrassment that children feel about the whole topic.
When your child thinks, “Does this mean that I’m ‘bad’?”
Many children think that not controlling their bladder at night makes then “bad.” This may come from a few places. Children may hear adults saying “bad” to children who have had an accident (they may even see this on television). Children may also pick up on their parents’ frustration with having to clean the sheets and bed after an accident. The extra work a parent has to do, along with the frustration, can make a child feel guilty or even that he or she is unloved.
Reassure your child that urination is a body process and that it simply takes longer for some children to control their bladder. Continue to praise your child when he or she makes it to the bathroom in time, and never scold or punish your child for accidents. Make clean-up as easy on you as possible so that your child will not see you frustrated or upset as a result of bedwetting.
When your child thinks, “This will never get better.”
For children, time passes differently. A problem they have had for weeks may well seem forever. If they are the last children in their class or group of friends to wet the bed, they may feel that their problem will last “forever.” Children who feel this may get discouraged and upset by the problem.
Reassure your child that the problem is temporary. If possible, have other family members discuss their own bedwetting experiences (and how they overcame it) with your child. Collect stories in the press of celebrities who wet the bed as children but outgrew it (celebrities will sometimes mention this sort of thing – or their biographers will – in interviews). This will help convince your child that the problem is only temporary.
When your child thinks, “I’m not normal.”
Children of a certain age worry very much about “fitting in.” Anything that interrupts this often causes undue upset. Whether it is not having the “right” shoes or being different because of a medical condition, children who do not feel that they belong experience lots of stress. If your child thinks that he or she is the last 6-year-old (or 8-year-old or 16-year-old) that still wets the bed, your child may conclude that there is something “wrong” with them.
Have your doctor talk to your child and assure him or her that bedwetting is normal. Better yet, follow the advice above – have people that your child sees as normal talk about their childhood bedwetting. Once your child realizes that he or she is not “strange” by wetting the bed, some of the anxiety will decrease.When your child thinks, “It takes so much time and work.”
Ok, this is the cry of most parents who are faced with a child who wets the bed, but your child may also face anxiety about the upheaval that a “wet” night causes, especially if there are other people around to witness the fuss. If your child spends lots of time trying to work with bedwetting remedies or spends extra time cleaning up, he or she may also resent the time and work bedwetting takes up.
You can make bedwetting less of a problem for you and your child by making clean-up easier. Have your child wear absorbent underpants while trying to control bedwetting, or at least protect the bed and pillows with protective mattress liners. Keep extra bed linens and cleaning products in your child’s room so that clean-up takes only a minute. Do larger loads of laundry to save some time, if you can.